Jonathan Kelsey Wants To Scare You, Sell You Shoes
If dark, edgy cool was a patented quality, then French actresses would own the rights. Exhibit A: model and actress Joana Preiss (muse to so many of the French designers you love), who is now the subject of Jonathan Kelsey’s idolatry in his first film, High. The goth-y slasher short was screened last night in London’s Soho House to a cinephile crowd that included Astrid Muñoz, Sharleen Spiteri, Tolula Adeyemi, and Olivia Inge. Kelsey’s day job, of course, is shoe designer, one that he does quite well. In fact, the former Mulberry designer is the de facto chief of the new wave of talented London cobblers: Nicholas Kirkwood, Camilla Skovgaard, and Georgina Goodman. The film functions as a sort of creative advertising substitute, but not one that sacrifices quality to flagrantly flog product. “Most fashion shorts can look good but can feel like stretched-out ads,” explained Kelsey. “We wanted something with depth and a genuine narrative.” (He enlisted director Sara Dunlop and writer Gregory de Roeck to assure that.) Preiss, all halting English and trembling charm, explained that she managed to terrify herself during the shooting, not something that generally happens on your run-of-the-mill campaign shoot. “I was totally involved in this vampire woman character, so I couldn’t sleep during the night and was afraid of the daylight,” said Preiss, who wore Kelsey’s now infamous Insect shoes throughout the film. “I was even a bit scared by myself as this dark woman on the screen.” Click here to see the film on SHOWstudio.